Henrico County, VA — A Virginia family is grieving this week after police officers were called to a home to conduct a welfare check on 57-year-old Gay Ellen Plack. Instead of helping the woman in need, however, police killed her. Since the shooting, police have been refusing to release any details, leading many to speculate that police are trying to get their stories straight over a likely unjustified shooting.
The shooting happened around 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday. Immediately after Plack was killed, police only claimed that a woman was killed during an officer-involved shooting. They said nothing of the fact that it was officers who shot her.
“I don’t know how this could have happened,” Plack’s next-door neighbor, Pamela Abada said. “She was minding her own business in her own home.”
Abada says police told her they were there on Tuesday to conduct a welfare check on Abada. When she saw officers at Plack’s house, Abada said she didn’t worry because she thought they were there to help her. But she was sorely mistaken.
“I’m thinking that they came to help her so I didn’t have to worry,” Abada said. “I didn’t think I needed to keep tabs on the situation.”
According to the Richmond-Times Dispatch:
Abada went inside her home briefly and when she came back out, the police were inside Plack’s house, where she lived alone. Then they came outside again and were shining a flashlight into Plack’s bedroom through a window. After the police went back inside Plack’s house, Abada heard three gunshots, she said.
Neighbors on Wednesday described seeing several people carry Plack, who was moaning, out of her home to an ambulance. She was taken to a hospital but later died.
Abada explained that she asked officers if Plack had a gun. The never said she had a gun, but did claim that “she was armed.”
“She wouldn’t own a gun, she hates guns,” a neighbor said to NBC 12.
Abada told the Dispatch that Plack’s son came to his deceased mother’s home on Wednesday and told her that Plack was killed by cops as “she was on her daybed in the corner” of her bedroom.
Police say they are going to release more details on Thursday. Why they have refused to release any details up to this point is anyone’s guess.
According to online records, Plack had been a registered nurse since 1994. However, she voluntarily surrendered her nurse’s license in 2011 after she began battling with mental illness. The Richmond-Times Dispatch reports that after spending several months in a mental health hospital, Plack indicated that she wished to suspend her license to focus on healing, according to a consent order by the nursing board.
Since 2010, according to her family, Plack struggled with mental illness over the years. However, she never once exhibited any violent behavior and was, in fact, loved by everyone who described her as a selfless caring woman who was full of joy.
As the Dispatch reports, Abada said Plack moved into the home in 2016. After she first moved in, she had a party at her home before Valentine’s Day during which she helped friends and neighbors make cards so that she could bring them to a nursing home for the residents to send out to loved ones, Abada said.
Plack had converted one of the bedrooms in her home as an art studio where she would enjoy painting, according to Abada.
All the other neighbors interviewed by the Dispatch gave similar descriptions, Plack was very friendly. Never once did she threaten or otherwise frighten anyone.
“I’ve never known her to strike anyone or cause any physical harm to anyone,” said Cheryl Sherman. “She was very gentle.”
Karen knew Plack for several years. She’s says she used to ride bikes and do a lot of outdoor activities with the 57-year-old who used to be a cardiac nurse. She left these flowers outside Plack’s home because “Gay loved flowers”. #HenricoNews #NBC12 pic.twitter.com/NumVH5JWhP
— Karina Bolster (@KarinaNBC12) September 18, 2019
Plack’s older brother, Bob Bostock, contacted NBC12 Wednesday stating his sister just turned 57-years-old, only to die ten days later.
“Gay had been a fierce warrior for decades against the unrelenting and unforgiving mental illness of bipolar disorder,” Bostock said. “She was recently hospitalized involuntarily, and released, as required by law, after just three days.”
“My sister fought harder than anyone can imagine to combat the terrible disease which had her in its clutches,” he said. “Gay was a kind, generous, vivacious, caring person, with a joy for life, a hearty laugh, tremendous artistic talent, and a deep and abiding love for Jesus, her family, and her many caring and supportive friends. She did not deserve to die this way, terrified in her own home by police officers, sent there to help her, who instead ended her life.”
“She was not an aggressive person,” Abada said. “No one was afraid of her.”
No one was afraid of her, that is, except for heavily armed cops in bullet proof vests who were there to make sure she was okay.